Scouting report: The Gators are still looking for their first state tournament appearance, and this spring could be their best opportunity yet. Morris, who has already committed to pitch for South Carolina in two years, is one of the most promising pitchers in the state, and Barry batted .417 last 13 walks and 10 doubles.
O'Hagan was also an excellent hitter last year, and is one of the best defensive catchers in the league. Mierzwa makes for a solid second pitcher behind Morris in the rotation, and the Gators got a great boost in the middle of the infield with Kearney, a transfer from Mount St. Joseph.
Perhaps most impressive, the Gators had seven sophomores start last year, so depth this year and next will not be a problem. Outfielders Joey Janush, Dan Rosenberry, Tony Grabow and Drew Stone all batted better than .300 last year.
Key number: 8. Game winning steak the Gators had going into a season ending, 3-1 loss, at Stephen Decatur last year.
River Hill Hawks
2013 record: 10-7, 13-10
Coach: Wes McCoy, sixth season
Last state tournament appearance: 2009; Last state championship: 2009 (1st).
Key players: Seniors Billy Smalls (1B), Sam Kolodrubetz (OF/P), Falan Garner (3B) and Drew Pritchard (C); juniors Rohan Tilva (P) and Jordan Northrup (SS).
Key losses: Richie Lancashire (OF/P , DeSales), Karan Sinha (P/3B, Catholic), Jason Freishtat (P/2B, Marymount), Shrawan Sinha (OF, Virginia Commonwealth club team), Dylan Robson ¿.
Scouting report: Last year pitching was a strength for the Hawks, who had five pitchers with at least 10 innings pitched and an ERA of 3 or less. But the offense lagged, with only one hitter — returning third baseman Falan Garner — batting over .310.
River Hill does have plenty of talent on its side. Koldrubetz, Northrup, Smalls, Garner and Pritchard all made major contributions on offense and defense last year, and when healthy, Tilva is capable of being an all-county pitcher. Junior Ben Borucki will also give the Hawks quality innings on the mound.
Key number: 110. Pitching innings the Hawks lost to graduation last season, of 145 total.
Wilde Lake Wildecats
2013 record: 4-13, 5-16
Coach: Kareem Penn, fourth season
Last state tournament appearance: 2005; Last state championship: NA.
Key players: Seniors Tommy Aubin (P/2B), Matt Miller (P/2B) and Evan Adamson (P); juniors Cuinn Mullins (CF), Sergio Irazary (SS) and Wyatt Oler (OF); sophomores Jeff Jones (1B/P) and Michael Fontana (OF).
Key losses: Thomas Mee (C/OF, Johns Hopkins), Kris Hines (1B), Nick Wright (SS), Jack Skolnik (OF), Brandon Pelletier (3B)
Scouting report: Pitching has been a problem for Wilde Lake the past several seasons — they allowed 137 runs in 21 games last spring — but the good news is that their two most reliable arms — Aubin and Miller — are back with an additional year of experience.